DT 28358 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28358

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28358

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** / ***Enjoyment *** / ****

Greetings from Ottawa where we are experiencing a spell of unseasonably warm weather. It feels more like the end of March than mid-February. I understand that temperatures are actually forecast to reach virtually unheard of double digits in the next few days.

Today’s puzzle is unmistakably from RayT, bearing all his hallmarks — including single word clues in the Quick Crossword, an initialism type clue, an appearance by Her Majesty, and a bit of innuendo. I’m straddling the boundaries today, at the lower end of three-star territory for difficulty and at the upper end for enjoyment.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see the answers.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a   Spiritualist meeting held by wise ancestors … (6)
SEANCE — hidden in (held by) the final two words of the clue

4a   … sanctified and authorised by Church finally (8)
HALLOWED — permitted or authorised following (by) the final letter of ChurcH

9a   Increased taking exercise, tossing in sleep (6)
REPOSE — place a word meaning increased in volume, intensity, etc around an anagram of one of the usual two-letter exercises; I wrestled with whether to call “tossing” an anagram indicator or a reversal indicator although, in this case, it is six of one and a half-dozen of the other

Postscript: It seems that I wrestled and lost. As Rabbit Dave points out below, “tossing” must be a reversal indicator as otherwise the clue would violate the indirect anagram convention.

10a   Time runs out to get final goal (8)
TERMINUS — anagram (out) of the first two words of the clue

12a   Properly in favour of male friend (8)
FORMALLY — string together one of the shorter ways of saying “in favour of”, M(ale), and one willing to support another on an issue or in time of war

13a   A new task detailed for newsreader (6)
ANCHOR — one charade leads to another; this time A (from the clue), N(ew), and a task with the tail-end letter removed

15a   Key spies blend in somehow, casing area (13)
INDISPENSABLE — an anagram (somehow) of SPIES BLEND IN enclosing A(rea)

18a   Arrangement for auctioning rubbish (13)
CONFIGURATION — an anagram (rubbish) of FOR AUCTIONING

22a   Throw goes over pitch, getting obstreperous (6)
BOLSHY — a reversal of a slow, high throw followed by a more vigorous throw

24a   Rendezvous, embracing miss turning bare (8)
DESOLATE — a social outing wrapped round a reversal (turning) of a verb denoting to fail to take advantage of an opportunity (as in “miss your chance”); the penny finally dropped dashing any hopes for a marvellous picture opportunity

26a   Case with a hole plugged by adhesive (8)
ARGUMENT — A (from the clue) followed by a sticky substance inserted into an archaic term for a rip or tear

27a   Group penning single’s making progress (6)
RISING — a group (of criminals, perhaps) holds both the Roman numeral denoting single and its associated S

28a   Distracted being buzzed during performance (8)
DERANGED — called on the telephone in the midst of “it”

29a   Scrounger that’s sometimes pickled in pub (6)
BEGGAR — place a type of food that may be pickled inside another term for a pub


1d   Ill-feeling if rest gets disturbed (6)
STRIFE — anagram (gets disturbed) of IF REST

2d   Slur like individual swallowing last of Asti (9)
ASPERSION — a synonym for like followed by a human being having ingested the last letter of AstI

3d   Apple company’s almost sluggish (7)
COSTARD — start with a short form for company together with its accompanying S; then append most (all but the last letter) of a word meaning slow to move (or late to arrive)

5d   Aid by encouraging transgression initially (4)
ABET — the initial letters of the first four words in the clue; a RayT puzzle would not be complete without such a clue

6d   Dirges using feeble notes, oddly (7)
LAMENTS — another word for feeble or unconvincing followed by the odd letters in NoTeS

7d   Draw in chain holding hoist (5)
WINCH — hidden in (holding) the first three words of the clue

8d   Delicate record — Queen support rises (8)
DISCREET — a CD or similarly-shaped recording medium, the single-letter short form for Her Majesty, and a reversal (rises in a down clue) of a support used by a golfer

11d   See this person in total heaven (7)
ELYSIUM — a diocese in the Province of Canterbury precedes a synonym for total which contains a pronoun that might be subjectively used by the setter

14d   Dressed down in price, wearing sack (7)
BERATED — a price (stated on a per unit basis) contained in the type of sack in which one might sleep (or “do the deed”)

16d   Strapping body maturing (9)
BANDAGING — a body or group (of thieves, perhaps) and a word meaning ripening or maturing

17d   One unwilling to strike poet that holds dagger (8)
SCABBARD — someone who crosses the picket line and a literary term for a poet

19d   Animal‘s pong accepted by one elderly relative (7)
INHUMAN — a stench inside the Roman one and a childish name for grandmother

20d   Love that is about solid, sort of? (7)
IDOLISE — the Latin abbreviation for that is surrounding an anagram (sort of) of SOLID

21d   Book‘s bound to be gripped in both hands (6)
LEDGER — a bound or extremity contained in the abbreviations for the two hands

23d   Carry empty ‘Equalizer’ gun (5)
LUGER — another word for carry followed by the first and last letters of EqualizeR

25d   See stake mount up (4)
ANTE — a reversal (up in a down clue) of Europe’s highest and most active volcano

Among the clues I especially like today are 24a, 28a, 29a, and 21d with 24a edging out 28a for favourite. Coincidentally — or not — these were also among the last clues to be solved.


84 comments on “DT 28358

  1. Good morning Falcon,

    I agree with your ratings. Thanks for your explanation of 21d. I had the answer but couldn’t parse it. And thanks to the setter.

  2. I found this one at the easier end of the RayT spectrum, but no complaints about that because it was as entertaining and satisfying as ever. I took tossing in 9a to be a reversal indicator because calling it an anagram indicator simply hadn’t occurred to me :) Thanks, Falcon, for pointing that out. 22a went straight in because I recalled the slight variation of it seen on Valentine’s Day. I very much liked 29a, 23d, and 24a, and I’m choosing 19d as favourite for the penny drop moment when I realized that I wasn’t looking for an animal.

    Thanks to RayT for the fun, and thanks to Falcon for the fine hints and pictures.

  3. Falcon, it’s great to have you on hand bright and early (for us) although it does encourage seeking help sooner which was the case with 24a and 3d (never heard of). Fav clue was 11d. Thank you RayT for much amusement.

  4. 3*/4* for a typically enjoyable Ray T puzzle. I think “tossing” is reversal indicator as otherwise it would be a forbidden indirect anagram.

    I’ll join Mr Kitty in choosing 19d as my favourite having even gone as far as checking my BRB only to find that an Igrabon is not an animal. :wacko:

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

    1. Excellent point about indirect anagramming, RD. I was so taken with the realization that for a two-letter word reversal = anagram that I completely missed that potential violation of the rules (or should that be laws?)

      1. According to the wise but poorly schooled orphan boy there are no rules, so I think we must assume they are laws. :wink:

    2. Yes, it must be a reversal indicator (for PE) because none of the letters in ROSE are appropriately visible in the clue. (I know you guys know that, I’m just pointing it out for the benefit of the many casual solvers who are reading).

    3. I am with the reversal indicator. There are rules. I make them up as I go along and they only last for that moment. Ephemeral rules.

  5. The great thing about a trickier Ray T, of which I found this to be an example, is that one doesn’t have to wait as long for the next one to arrive.

  6. Greetings from an extremely blowy North Cornwall, dogs took one look outside and headed for baskets.
    Tricky in parts I’ve never heard of 3d so had to resort to electronic assistance.
    Nice to have an early blog thanks Falcon.
    RayT puzzles are always enjoyable they provide just enough head scratching so many thanks.

  7. ** – *** – with apologies to Jen, completed at a fast canter, helped by at least a couple of oldies but goodies (I think) – the apple at 3d and the stake at 25d, repeats of some recent answers (not necessarily the clues) – 13a and 14d, and a couple of easy to identify lurkers.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 4a and 17d, and the winner (to avoid Kath’s big stick) is 17d by a nose.

    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  8. I’m very glad for those of you who enjoyed this Ray T . I found it unrewarding. 24a is a good example of this.

  9. Excellent from Ray T! A cracking puzzle with well-written, quite challenging and elegantly succinct clues. A little above average for him, but well above average for a usual back-pager. I’d be very happy to get one like this every day. 3d: It’s no good just knowing your onions – you have to know your apples as well! 18d was my favourite – a beautifully crafted anagram clue. Well done Ray T! 3.5*/4*.

    1. PS. I have just read Una’s comment, above. Isn’t it fascinating how people can judge the same thing so differently?

    2. To help you “know your apples”, a British nursery describes the costard as “an ancient cooking apple thought to date back to the middle ages” — but still actively grown as they have trees for sale..

  10. Right up my street. Just tricksy enough to earn a fist pump and an “up yours RayT upon completion for which I was rightfully admonished by the saintly one. Ta very much to all.

  11. I found this a bit tricky but quite enjoyable. Favourites were 19d and 11d. I couldnt get 14d or 24a without the help of Falcon, but a good challenge in my opinion. 3.5*/4* Many thanks to Ray T and especially to Falcon for the hints.

  12. Quite a struggle for me, if an enjoyable one.

    Needed the hints for quite a few, so thanks to Falcon and to RayT.

  13. I think it was of about average difficulty for a Ray T and probably about average for enjoyment for one of his too – from me that means very.
    The link between 1a and the Quickie pun has already been pointed out – I assume it was deliberate just to keep us on our toes.
    I was slow with 24a and 11d and took ages to realise I wasn’t looking for an animal in 19d.
    The anagram fodder in 18a was clear but to begin with I wasn’t sure which was the definition as either the first or last word in the clue could have done as an anagram indicator.
    I got 21d quickly but couldn’t quite make ‘bound’ = ‘edge’ – still can’t. Dim, probably.
    I liked 28 and 29a and 6 and 17d. My favourite was 19d.
    With thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

    1. Kath – for 21d, think of ‘bounded by’ (a little archaic perhaps) or ‘boundary’ (but not necessarily in its cricket usage) to connect bound and edge (with both as verbs?).

      1. Where I was brought up the local church people used to have an annual ceremony called ‘beating the bounds’ which involved them in walking round the parish boundary singing and wailing.

        1. They still do in The Archers. They hit their children on their heads to drum into them where the village boundaries are

        2. They still beat the bounds in the Suffolk village from which I moved a year or two ago but without wailing!

  14. Lovely stuff and not too difficult once I’d spotted the lurker in 1a (dim, as Kath would say!) and stopped trying to justify ‘custard’ for 3d. In my defence, I’d heard of a custard apple but not of the one required for the answer!

    Long list of ticks including 4,13,28&29a plus 21d. For Kath’s peace of mind, I’ll plump for 28a as favourite.

    Devotions to Mr. T and thanks to Falcon for the review – enjoy your mild weather as we battle with storm Doris!

    1. Funny, isn’t it? Doris sounds like a harmless little old lady with a walking stick and a wooly hat to me . . .

      1. Maybe she is, Kath. All she did was to briefly shake her stick at us this morning before tottering off leaving a sunny afternoon behind her!

        1. She is still shaking it around here. There has been alot of damage to fences which makes me feel smug for having hedges. Some trees are down.

          1. We only lost for 3 days, but younger daughter lost for 2 weeks, so she, hubby, toddler and baby had to move in with us until power was restored.

  15. Maybe not ‘in tune’ today, but I found this quite a struggle. Got there the end, and enjoyed it eventually, so thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  16. What’s going on? This is third Ray T on the trot that I have understood, finished and enjoyed. The world is def turning!
    For me **/****
    Thx to all

    1. As I work near the Tower of London, I will just check that the ravens are still there…

  17. Went through the acrosses and only got four so I was beginning to be rather glad it’s not me in the blogging seat today. However, eleven downs came to the rescue and after that it all sort of fell together nicely. **/**** from me with 11d as favourite.

    Many thanks to RayT and Falcon.

    Weather here has turned almost springlike, 19C and not a cloud to be seen.

  18. Managed to squeeze this in during the day. Not RayT’s hardest for me but it just hit the spot perfectly. As for favourites, I can’t help but have multiples. I will take Falcon’s top pick and add 16d and 9a.

    Many thanks to RayT and Falcon.

    I hope to tackle the Toughie on the train later – if they don’t blow off the rails, I’m off to pay a visit to a couple of cats and a bawdy bardess.

  19. Phew! Got there in the end but what a joy. V v good puzzle that blew all the deadwood away rather like the weather. 19d was man of the match. Now to do something that is not a waste of time – I don’t mean that nastily, but c’mon, these things are a colossal waste of time – for me at least. Maybe if I was quicker at them??

      1. I think my wife would provide a more eloquent and reasoned response to that question. I think it was the great crossword setter Araucaria who said the same words – that cryptic puzzles are a huge waste of time.

  20. Took me ages to really get going with today’s offering. I should have looked more seriously at the down clues instead of persisting with the across lot! Anyway eventually all was completed successfully in spite of not spelling 8d correctly which did not help.
    19d was my fave, and overall 3/4*.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for his review.
    What news of the ravens Hoofit?

  21. Finished 75% of this waiting in the doctor’s surgery yesterday but needed a lot more head scratching this morning. So I agree with the ratings. My favourite by a mile was 11d. I think other patients wondered why I was chuckling 😂 Thanks to Falcon for the review and Ray T for another splendid puzzle.

  22. I found this really tricky, I got about two-thirds done but came to a grinding halt and had to seek electronic assistance.

    Above my pay grade I’m afraid, but enjoyable nevertheless and it was interesting to get explanations for the clues I struggled with.

    Doris closed my golf club this morning and has now just blown over the bird table – it’s really rough out there!

  23. I tend to agree with Kath about this being a fairly average RayT puzzle in terms of both difficulty and enjoyment, as ever certain of the answers had to be teased out, especially towards the bottom of the grid.

    As clearly evident every other Thursday, Ray’s trademark brevity in cluing has its devotees (such brevity was particularly in evidence today with all but two clues consisting of seven words or fewer), but I have observed that it can lead to a repetition of devices, and today “in” was used three times as an insertion indicator.

    Like Kath too, my favourite was 19d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Terrell and to Falcon.

  24. At first I doubted a RayT as I breezed through until 15a, even knowing the apple. The bottom half required copious use of my thesaurus and electronic wotsit.
    I never did get 14d, even with the hints, having to click to get the answer.
    I had to google 22a to make sure it could be spelt like that. I also needed the hints to know why 9a was correct.
    Thanks to RayT, and huge thanks to Falcon for his help to understand most of it.

  25. As an occasional fan of Ray T I thought today’s puzzle was a stinker. After half a dozen clues in and answered I hit a brick wall.
    So many thanks to Falcon for his explanations.

    1. Peter, you’ve changed your alias (from an animal-based one) since your last comment. Both aliases should work from now on.

  26. It all went together smoothly for us with all the fun we expect from a RayT puzzle. Like Kath we pondered for a while on what was definition and what was indicator for 18a but a few checkers sorted that out. Word count checked and all in order as reported by Silvanus.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  27. An enjoyable puzzle (as always) from RayT that I found to be a fairly straightforward solve overall.

    Thanks to Falcon and RayT 1.5*/4*

  28. Evening all. Many thanks to Falcon for the review and to everybody for your comments. As I may have said before, all much appreciated.


    1. Thanks for popping in, when I first joined BD’s gang I used to panic whenever a Ray T appeared but I now I usually manage to cope. :yahoo:

  29. About *** for difficulty overall I’d say – three quarters was straightforward enough, but the SE corner put up a bit of a battle. One of those where I had to chip away at each clue, working from each bit of the cryptic upwards.

  30. Lord I found some very easy clues today, but needed you help for three or four – thankyou xx

  31. After a good start I struggled as usual on a Ray T day, but it is good to be stretched mentally now and then. Thanks for the hints Falcon, I truly needed several today.

  32. Completed this very enjoyable Ray T puzzle while stuck at St Lucia airport. The flight from Manchester is delayed by nearly three hours due to Storm Doris. Not much to do here, and no comfortable seats. When we do finally leave, we have to stop in Barbados for refuelling (the plane, not us) before continuing on our journey.

    Back to the crossword – 3*/4* the difficulty increased by the sound of screaming kids echoing around the departure lounge. 19d my favourite, with many thanks to Ray and Falcon.

  33. Nice puzzle from Ray T. I went nicely along, but held my hands up at 11d. I thought Ely was in Cambridgeshire, wasn’t thinking of Canterbury at all.

    ***/**** from me.

    1. It was perhaps rather nasty of me not to specify that the reference was to the ecclesiastical province of Canterbury (as opposed to the ecclesiastical province of York).

  34. Late start, but 80% complete without help so pretty good for me for a Thursday and very enjoyable. A couple of new words in there for me. Quite often I put aside unfinished crosswords for a day or two and then have another stab, often successfully. Only then do I look back at the hints, by which time its a bit late to make useful comment. Does anyone else do similar I wonder?

    1. Absolutely. If I am late on show it’s most often because I am struggling. I hate to give in and dislike resorting to assistance but I enjoy the blog very much and by barring myself access to it until the last resort, I impose a penance on my shortcomings.

  35. Help please…
    Where does “a diocese in the Province of Canterbury” come into 11d??

    1. ELY is a see (bishopric) in Cambridgeshire. As I understand it all Anglican bishoprics in England come under either the province of Canterbury or the province of York.

      1. Many thanks Gazza.
        The SE corner did for me, which was a shame as the rest of it rattled in.
        A very enjoyable Ray-T, though I did think that this was a tougher one, mainly because of the SE corner.
        Fav was the lurker at 1a
        Thanks Ray-T and Falcon

    2. Hoofityoudonkey. I have tried to explain to you not to read the clues do I now have to explain that you should not read the hints? This way lies madness

      1. ?? It was to try and understand how ELY = “a diocese in the Province of Canterbury”, Gazza explained it perfectly.
        I did not know See = Diocese either…
        There are other poorly-educated whatevers in the building…

  36. VVV late on parade today after a long and arduous journey to Edinburgh for the Wales v Scotland weekend. Very much a Ray T production with (nearly) all of the trademark clues. Did I miss an ‘initialisation’ clue? If I have I’m sorry :( Enjoyable and some lovely clues that brought a smile to my lips.

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and to Falcon for his review.

    I was very much distracted having to make instant decisions as to the possibility of abandoning our plans to have a lovely weekend in my favourite city to watch my favourite sport all because of a some wind, rain and snow.

    A wind, which we seemingly have to name – Doris? (apologies to those who have suffered her powers) But the whole country comes to standstill – why?

    The ‘Grinch’ has left the building :)

    1. Did you miss an “initialisation” clue? Yes you did. It is 5d. I suspect you may have taken it for a cryptic definition which would be easy enough to do.

  37. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. An enjoyable puzzle, quite gentle for a Ray T. Favourite was 7d,so well hidden. Last in was 8d, was 2*/3* for me.

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